How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Cave Spring 30124
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Cave Spring GA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Cave Spring GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Cave Spring GA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Cave Spring GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Cave Spring GA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Cave Spring GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Cave Spring GA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Cave Spring GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Cave Spring GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Cave Spring health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Cave Spring GA residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cave Spring GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cave Spring Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cave Spring GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cave Spring, Georgia
Cave Spring is a city in Floyd County, Georgia, United States. It is located 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Rome, the county seat. The population of Cave Spring was 1,200 at the 2010 census, up from 975 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Rome, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The town was named after the cave and water spring located in Rolater Park. The cave has impressive stalagmites and the legendary "Devil's Stool" formation. The spring water has won awards for purity and taste. Many visitors bring jugs to fill at the spring and take home for drinking.
Cave Spring is located in southwestern Floyd County at 34°6′32″N 85°20′10″W / 34.10889°N 85.33611°W / 34.10889; -85.33611 (34.108912, -85.336018).U.S. Route 411 passes through the city, leading northeast to Rome and west 46 miles (74 km) to Gadsden, Alabama. The Alabama border is 5 miles (8 km) west of Cave Spring. Georgia State Route 100 leads north from Cave Spring 12 miles (19 km) to Coosa and southeast 11 miles (18 km) to Cedartown.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist College near Cave Spring GA
Choosing the best physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Cave Spring GA.
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